- In epidemiology, an outbreak is a sudden increase in occurrences of a disease in a particular time and place
- It may affect a small and localized group or impact upon thousands of people across an entire continent
- Two linked cases of a rare infectious disease may be sufficient to constitute an outbreak
- Outbreaks include epidemics, which term is normally only used for infectious diseases, as well as diseases with an environmental origin, such as a water or foodborne disease
- They may affect a region in a country or a group of countries
- Pandemics are near-global disease outbreaks
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